Greenfield at Large: Weeknights, 11:00 p.m. ET
Tuesday, January 08, 2002
Here's the view from the ground in Afghanistan:
"...in Afghanistan you need more than smart bombs to win
a war; you need cash. You need to pay fighters so they
won't loot, you need to buy food so they won't steal it
and you need to purchase gas for their 4-by-4's. Most
crucially, you need cash to entice enemy commanders and
soldiers to switch sides...The going rate last fall was
several thousand dollars for a midlevel commander and as
little as $30 a head for soldiers."
"'There was no al Qaeda group there,' Aji Akhter Jan said
of a U.S. airstrike Dec. 29 on a compound in eastern
Afghanistan. The Red Cross said the raid killed 52 people,
nearly half of them children. Jan, an elderly, but robust-
looking man who wears a black turban, Taliban-style, said
the Americans were misled by an informant with a grudge
against two extended families who lived there."
Those reports came from the New York Times and USA Today,
respectively. They paint a picture of a nation where
alliances have less to do with the Taliban and the
Northern Alliance, and more to do with the Montagues and
Capulets, or perhaps the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Just this week, the 14-year-old suspected of shooting
Sgt. First Class Nathan Chapman has somehow disappeared
from the custody of the Afghan elders holding him.
Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar similarly seem to have
evaporated after Afghan forces reported having them
Can the U.S. trust its supposed allies there? And if
not, how can the U.S. military safely proceed in its
search for remaining al Qaeda pockets? Perhaps more
worrisome, how can stability take hold in an
environment where warring factions need chaos to
Tonight, we'll hear from the reporters of those
stories, Peter Maass of the New York Times and
Steven Komarow of USA Today, as well as CNN Military
Analyst Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.). We hope you'll
(Note: Our guests and topic are subject to change.)
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